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Chris Rock says he is ‘still processing’ the Oscars altercation with Will Smith

Chris Rock says he is ‘still processing’ his altercation with Will Smith at the Oscars but will talk about it ‘at some point’ (Isabel Infantes/PA)
Chris Rock says he is ‘still processing’ his altercation with Will Smith at the Oscars but will talk about it ‘at some point’ (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Chris Rock says he is “still processing” his altercation with Will Smith at the Oscars but will talk about it “at some point”.

The comedian referenced the incident at a stand-up show and promised that when he did comment officially it would be “serious and funny”.

Smith took to the stage on Sunday and slapped the comedian across the face, following a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith and her hair loss.

Addressing audiences at the top of his show in Boston, Rock said: “How was your weekend?

“I don’t have a bunch of shit about what happened, so if you came to hear that, I have a whole show I wrote before this weekend.

“I’m still kind of processing what happened.

“So, at some point I’ll talk about that shit. And it will be serious and funny.”

Rock was reportedly given a standing ovation by his audience before kicking off his set.

It comes as the Academy revealed that Smith was asked to leave the 94th annual awards show after the incident, but refused.

The organisation said the best actor winner’s actions were “shocking” and “traumatic” to witness live on television as it apologised to Rock, praising his “resilience in that moment”.

Smith later returned to the stage accept the award for best actor for his performance in King Richard, and gave an emotional speech about the importance of protecting family.

The 94th Academy Awards – Vanity Fair Party – Los Angeles
The Academy revealed that Smith was asked to leave the 94th annual awards show after the incident, but refused (Doug Peters/PA)

“Things unfolded in a way we could not have anticipated,” the Academy said in a statement.

“While we would like to clarify that Mr Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and refused, we also recognise we could have handled the situation differently.”

“Mr Smith’s actions at the 94th Oscars were a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television,” the academy said.

“Mr Rock, we apologise to you for what you experienced on our stage and thank you for your resilience in that moment.

“We also apologise to our nominees, guests and viewers for what transpired during what should have been a celebratory event.”

Oscars Smith Rock Defend Black Women
Smith took to the stage on Sunday and slapped the comedian across the face, following a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith and her hair loss (Chris Pizzello/AP)

A formal review into the incident has been launched to discuss what disciplinary measures will be taken, and Smith will reportedly be given the chance to provide a written defence.

The Academy said disciplinary action for Smith could include suspension, expulsion or other sanctions.

The actor apologised to The Academy and his fellow nominees during his acceptance speech following his win, and later to Rock on social media.

In a statement posted to Instagram he admitted he had reacted “emotionally” to the joke, but “violence in all its forms is poisonous and destructive”.